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P3 team selected to build 6 joint-use schools in Saskatoon region

Watch above: The province has announced the winning bid to build 6 joint-use schools in the Saskatoon area under the P3 model. Aaron Streck says the NDP wants the deal scrapped before its inked.

SASKATOON – The provincial government announced Monday it is one step closer to building nine joint-use schools in Saskatchewan. The public-private partnerships (P3) team that will deliver them has been selected.

Six of them will be located in Saskatoon’s Evergreen, Hampton Village, Rosewood and Stonebridge neighbourhoods, as well as the cities of Martensville and Warman.

The publicly-owned and operated elementary schools will accommodate nearly 8,000 students and created over 1,600 jobs in the Saskatoon region. Construction is expected to begin this summer with schools ready for students in September 2017.

Along with three joint-use schools coming to Regina, this represents the largest project of its kind in Saskatchewan’s history.

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READ MORE: Sask. Government going ahead with P3 school model

Joint Use Mutual Partnership (JUMP) has been selected as the P3 team that will deliver all the new schools after completing a two-staged procurement process.

JUMP includes the following partners: Concert Infrastructure Ltd., Bird Capital Limited Partnerships/Bird Design‐Build Construction Inc., Wright Construction Western Inc., Kindrachuck Agrey Architecture, Johnson Controls Canada LP and GEC Architecture.

The Saskatchewan NDP says the winning bidder is a conglomerate that hails from Vancouver, Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta and the United Sates.

SaskBuilds and its external advisors determined the cost of delivering a project using a P3 model is less than using a traditional approach.

Financial details were not released by the province.

The Opposition also says these “P3 rental schemes” have worked poorly and cost more in Nova Scotia, Alberta, Ontario and B.C. It wants the Saskatchewan Party to turn away from this model before the contract is signed.

“Other provinces have gone down this road and turned back,” said NDP deputy leader Trent Wotherspoon.

Contract negotiations are expected to be finalized by late-summer.

Wotherspoon urges the province to change the plan before its locked into a 30-year “bad” deal.

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“If we decide to own and maintain our schools ourselves – as we always have – we save money, we get building immediately and our communities will get all the access to the schools they’ve always had,” said Wotherspoon.